A phosphate group is a molecule formed by a phosphorus atom attached to four oxygen atoms. Its chemical formula is PO43-. This group of atoms is called a phosphate group when it is attached to a molecule that contains carbon (any organic molecule).All living beings are made of carbon. The phosphate group is present in genetic material, in energetic molecules important for cellular metabolism, is part of biological membranes and of some freshwater ecosystems.
It is clear that the phosphate group is present in many important structures of organisms.
A lot of energy can be stored in the electrons shared between the four oxygen atoms and the carbon atom; This ability is important for some of your roles in the cell.
6 Main Functions of Phosphate Groups
1- In nucleic acids
DNA and RNA, the genetic material of all living beings, are nucleic acids. They are formed by nucleotides, which in turn are formed by a nitrogenous base, a sugar of 5 carbons and a phosphate group.
The sugars of the 5th carbon and the phosphate group of each nucleotide form the backbone of the nucleic acid. When nucleotides are not bound to others to form DNA or RNA molecules, they bind to two other phosphate groups, resulting in molecules such as ATP (adenosine triphosphate) or GTP (guanosine triphosphate).
2- As an energy warehouse
ATP is the main molecule that supplies energy to cells so that they can perform their vital functions.
For example, when muscles are contracted, muscle proteins use ATP to make it.
This molecule is formed by an adenosine attached to three phosphate groups. The links formed between these groups are high energy.This means that, by breaking these links, a large amount of energy is released that can be used to do work in the cell.
The removal of a phosphate group to release energy is called ATP hydrolysis. The result is a free phosphate and an ADP molecule (adenosine diphosphate, as it has only two phosphate groups).
Phosphate groups are also found in other energy molecules that are less common than ATP, such as guanosine triphosphate (GTP), cytidine triphosphate (CTP), and uridine triphosphate (UTP).
3- In the activation of proteins
Phosphate groups are important in the activation of proteins so that they can perform specific functions in cells.
Proteins are activated through a process called phosphorylation, which is the addition of a phosphate group.
When a phosphate group is bound to a protein, it is said that the protein is phosphorylated.This means that it has been activated to be able to perform a specific function, such as carrying a message to another protein in the cell.
Protein phosphorylation occurs in all life forms and proteins that add these phosphate groups to other proteins are called kinases.
It is interesting to mention that sometimes the job of a kinase is to phosphorylate another kinase. In contrast, phosphorylation is the removal of a phosphate group.
4- in cell membranes
Phosphate groups can bind to lipids to form another type of very important biomolecule called phospholipids.
Its importance lies in the fact that phospholipids are the main component of cell membranes and are essential structures for life.
Several molecules of phospholipids are arranged in rows called a bilayer of phospholipids; That is, a double layer of phospholipids.This bilayer is the main component of biological membranes, such as the cell membrane and the nuclear envelope that surrounds the nucleus.
5- As a pH regulator
Living beings require neutral conditions for life because most biological activities can only occur at a specific pH close to neutral; That is, neither too acid nor too basic.
The phosphate group is an important pH buffer in cells.
6- In the ecosystem
Phosphorus is a nutrient in freshwater environments that limits the growth of plants and animals.
An increase in the amount of phosphorus-containing molecules (such as phosphate groups) can promote the growth of plankton and plants.
This increase in plant growth translates into more food for other organisms, such as zooplankton and fish. Thus, the food chain continues until it reaches humans.An increase in phosphate will initially increase the number of plankton and fish, but too much increase will limit other nutrients that are also important for survival, such as oxygen.
This lack of oxygen is called eutrophication and can kill aquatic animals.
Human activities, such as wastewater treatment, industrial discharges, and the use of fertilizers in agriculture can increase phosphates.
What is the function of Phosphate?
Use of single super phosphate improves plant growth. Simultaneously, the roots develop. There is also an increase in crop quality and yield. Apart from this, the amount of sulfur present in it is also found, which produces chlorophyll in the crops and provides protein to the plants.
When to use Super Phosphate?
After irrigation, keep the quantity of urea 65 kg only. Sing super phosphate should be used in sulfur deficient areas. For this, use 65 kg urea, 150 kg super phosphate, 40 kg murate of potash per acre. Spray remaining nitrogen with 65 kg urea after first irrigation.
What does Phosphate mean?
phosphate: phosphate English [masculine noun] 1. an organic chemical 2. a salt or compound containing phosphorus 3. A type of chemical fertilizer added to crops or plants for cultivation.
How is Phosphate Formed?
In inorganic chemistry, the salts formed by the action of phosphoric acid and bases are called phosphates. In organic chemistry, esters of phosphoric acid are called phosphates or organophosphates. Organic phosphates are of great importance in biochemistry and the environment.
Which element is found in super phosphate?
Uttam Single Super Phosphate is a phosphorous fertilizer containing 16% phosphorus, 11% sulfur and 20% calcium.
What is Phosphorus Fertilizer?
Phosphorus is a reactive element, hence it is not found in free state. Phosphates of metals are found in some minerals. 56% calcium phosphate is found in animal bones and it is an essential element for animals and plants and its existence is found in many biological components.
Phosphorus is a metal or a non-metal?
Phosphorus is a chemical element with the symbol or P and atomic number 15. The word is derived from the Greek words phos (light) and phors (holder), which literally means bearer of light. This phosphate is found in rocks.
What will happen if phosphorus is kept in air?
It comes in contact with moist air in the dark and gives light yellow color. This phenomenon is called phosphorescence. Of all the allotropes of phosphorus, white phosphorus is the most reactive. White phosphorus is found in the form of P4 molecule at room temperature.